The Lexus line-up is about to get a little bigger – quite literally. The Japanese luxury carmaker is set to reveal a concept version of a city car, dubbed the LF-SA, at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
To give a hint of what’s coming, Lexus has released a teaser image showing distinctive triple-LED headlamps and a new and more aggressive version of its now-familiar spindle grille.
“An illustration of Lexus’ passion for upcoming design trends, the LF-SA concept explores unexpected territories for the brand in a bold and emotional execution,” the maker explained in a release.
It also suggested that, “In a future world which many people see as increasingly influenced by technology and virtual experiences, the LF-SA concept is also a driver-focused vehicle, reflecting Lexus’ vision that real experience will remain ultimate luxury.”
Lexus has been pressed by parent Toyota Motor Co.’s CEO Akio Toyoda to add more “passion” to the brand, and the front-on view of the new Lexus LF-SA Concept suggests the luxury maker is taking that seriously. The show car offers a new take on the spindle grille, with an aggressive surround, a low chin spoiler and distinctive lighting.
Along with the triple-bulb LED headlamp, the LF-SA gets Nike “swoosh”-like LED running lights and a pair of strip-style foglamps.
What’s in store for the LF-SA post-Geneva is unclear, though Lexus officials recently told an Australian magazine they are working up a new model that would slot in below the brand’s current base car the CT200h hybrid. That would better position it against rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Audi who have been targeting both young, urban, first-time luxury buyers and empty-nesters.
(Lexus debuts new street and track performance cars in Detroit. For more, Click Here.)
Meanwhile, Tokuo Fukuichi, the brand’s global design director, said at the Paris Motor Show last autumn that Lexus was “seriously considering” a new entry model.
(Click Here for details about the Infiniti QX30 debuting in Geneva.)
There have been rumors that Lexus might even adopt a version of the Toyota iQ city car. It was already used as the foundation for a short-lived Aston Martin microcar, the Cygnet. But that approach has its drawbacks. An attempt to market the iQ in the U.S. through the Scion brand failed, so it would be unlikely that a Lexus version would follow into the States.
(To see more about Audi lighting up the road with the new R8, Click Here.)
Then again, Lexus may see this as a niche vehicle targeted only at Europe and a handful of other markets where luxury buyers are demanding pint-sized products that can maneuver increasingly crowded urban roadways.